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E51 
.1392 
vol.  10 
no.  8 
NMAI 


INDIAN  NOTES 
ID  MONOGRAPHS 


Edited  by  F.  W.  Hodge 


^OL.X 


No.  8 


A  SERIES  OF  PUBLICA- 
TIONS  RELATING  TO  THE 
AMERICAN  ABORIGINES 


l  MOHAWK  FORM  OF  RITUAL 
OF  CONDOLENCE,  1782 

BY 

JOHN  DESERONTYON 

TRANSLATED,    WITH    AN    INTRODUCTION, 
BY 

J.  N.  B.  HEWITT 


NEW  YORK 

MUSEUM  OF  THE  AMERICAN  INDIAN 

HEYE   FOUNDATION 

1928 


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Heye  Foundation 

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INDIAN  NOTES 
AND  MONOGRAPHS 

Edited  by  F.  W.  Hodge 


Vol.X    1 


A  SERIES  OF  PUBLICA- 
TIONS RELATING  TO  THE 
AMERICAN  ABORIGINES 


A  MOHAWK  FORM  OF  RITUAL 
OF  CONDOLENCE,  1782 

BY 

JOHN  DESERONTYON 

TRANSLATED,    WITH    AN    INTRODUCTION, 

BY 

J.  N.  B.  HEWITT 


NEW   YORK 

MUSEUM   OF   THE   AMERICAN   INDIAN 

HEYE   FOUNDATION 

1928 


LANCASTER  PRESS,  INC. 
LANCASTER,  PA. 


A  MOHAWK  FORM  OF  RITUAL 

OF  CONDOLENCE, 

APRIL  9,  1782 

BY 

JOHN  DESERONTYON 

TRANSLATED,    WITH    AN    INTRODUCTION, 

BY 

J.  N.  B.  HEWITT 


FOREWORD 

THE  interesting  Mohawk  manuscript  herein 
reproduced  in  facsimile,  accompanied  with 
both  a  literal  and  an  interlinear  translation 
by  Mr.  Hewitt  of  the  Bureau  of  American  Ethnology, 
belonged  to  the  estate  of  William  Kirby  of  Ottawa, 
to  whom  it  and  other  documents  came  down  from 
Colonel  David  Claus  (sometimes  written  Claesse), 
who  was  probably  a  native  of  the  Mohawk  valley, 
Xew  York,  where  he  early  acquired  a  knowledge  of 
the  Iroquois  language  and  was  in  consequence  at- 
tached as  interpreter  to  the  department  of  Sir 
William  Johnson,  Superintendent  General  of  Indian 
Affairs,  later  marrying  Johnson's  daughter  and  be- 
coming his  Deputy.  Claus  translated  into  Mohawk 
The  Order  For  Morning  and  Evening  Prayer,  pub- 
lished in  Quebec  in  1769,  and  revised  and  republished 
in  1780.     Claus  died  at  Cardiff,  Wales,  in  1787. 

The  Deserontyon  manuscript  was  acquired  at  a 
sale  in  Xew  York,  November  30,  1925,  for  the  late 
James  B.  Ford,  who  added  it  to  the  library  of  the 
Museum  which  bears  his  name. 


87 


INTRODUCTION 

THIS  manuscript  briefly  records  a  naive  specimen 
of  the  class  of  traditional  literature  relating  to 
the  ceremonial  side  of  the  League  of  the  Iro- 
quois, which  arose  when  the  disintegrating  pressure 
of  European  culture  on  the  integrity  of  the  institu- 
tions of  the  League  became  increasingly  evident  to 
the  intelligent  leaders  of  the  Iroquois  peoples.  The 
immediate  effect  of  this  realization  of  ritualistic 
disintegration  was  a  pronounced  striving  for  the 
preservation  of  the  usual,  customary  forms  and 
content  of  the  several  sacred  rituals  and  chants 
employed  in  League  ceremonials. 

In  his  Iroquois  Book  of  Rites  Mr.  Horatio  Hale 
makes  use  of  four  such  manuscripts.  There  are, 
indeed,  several  others  known  to  the  writer.  So,  of 
examples  of  attempts  to  record  even  faulty  outlines 
of  certain  essential  rituals  of  the  League  for  purely 
mnemonic  purposes  there  is  a  goodly  number  extant. 
Of  these  some  are  written  while  others  are  picto- 
graphic.  It  is  seemingly  apparent  that  so  much 
solicitude  for  the  preservation  of  the  historical  tra- 
ditions has  not  been  shown.  So  no  known  recorded 
examples  of  these  are  found  previous  to  1880. 

Of  the  history  of  the  recorder  of  this  manuscript, 
Captain  John  Deserontyon,  the  present  writer  knows 

89 


90  MOHAWK    RITUAL 

comparatively  little.  But  this  much  may  be  said, 
that  judging  solely  from  his  name,  his  tribal  affilia- 
tion, and  the  dates  at  which  his  name  receives  notice 
in  available  documents,  there  appears  sufficient  rea- 
son for  identifying  him  with  the  Captain  John 
Deserenton  (Desetontyon  and  Deserontyon  being  other 
spellings  of  the  name)  who  with  the  celebrated 
Captain  Joseph  Brant  was  a  delegate  from  "the 
Mohawk  Nation  of  Indians  residing  in  the  province 
of  Upper  Canada,  within  the  dominions  of  the  King 
of  Great  Britain"  to  attend  a  treaty  at  the  city  of 
Albany,  N.  Y.,  on  March  29,  1797,  "to  enable  New 
York  to  extinguish  the  title  of  the  said  Indians  to  all 
lands  therein,"  and  who  sold  for  a  total  sum  of  S1600 
all  the  right  and  title  of  these  Mohawk  to  lands  in 
Xew  York  state.  This  identification  indicates  that 
he  was  not  a  Caughnawaga  Mohawk.  In  the  preced- 
ing year,  1796,  the  Caughnawaga  and  the  St.  Regis 
Indians  on  May  23  held  a  treaty  with  Commissioners 
of  the  State  of  Xew  York  in  Xew  York  City  for  the 
sale  of  their  lands.  At  this  treaty  the  Caughnawaga 
were  represented  by  two  chiefs,  and  the  St.  Regis 
Indians  by  one  and  by  an  interpreter,  Mr.  Gray; 
but  John  Deserontyon  was  not  mentioned  in  connec- 
tion with  this  treat}7,  and  so  the  present  writer  infers 
that  he  belonged  to  the  Mohawk  of  the  League  of  the 
Iroquois  who  at  that  time  still  retained  much  of  their 
ancient  lore. 

It  must  be  noted  that  this  manuscript  regards  the 
so-called  Seven  Xations  of  Canada  and  the  Caugh- 


OF    CONDOLENCE  91 

nawaga  of  Canada  as  constituting  a  social  organic 
dualism  such  as  that  contemplated  by  the  Constitu- 
tion of  the  League  of  the  Iroquois.  The  Iroquois 
tribe  and  the  Iroquois  League  of  tribes  could  take 
public  action  only  through  the  functioning  of  a 
dualism  of  organized  groups  of  persons  of  common 
blood.  One  of  the  two  complementary  groupings  of 
persons  of  blood  kinship  (either  by  descent  or  by 
legal  fiction)  represents  the  Female  Principle  in 
Nature,  the  Mother  typifying  Womankind  as  dis- 
tinguished from  the  Male  Kind;  the  other  of  the 
groupings  of  blood  kindreds  represents  the  Male 
Principle,  the  Father  typifying  Mankind  as  dis- 
tinguished from  the  Female  Kind,  of  the  human  race. 
The  Mother  Group  in  a  tribe  is  composed  of  a  Clan 
or  a  Sisterhood  of  Clans;  the  Father  Group  in  a 
tribe  is  composed  of  a  Clan  or  a  Sisterhood  of  Clans. 
The  League  is  composed  of  like  units.  The  Mother 
Group  in  the  League  is  composed  of  a  Sisterhood  of 
tribes;  the  Father  Group  is  composed  of  a  Sisterhood 
of  tribes. 

But,  the  so-called  Seven  Nations  of  Canada  were 
not  in  any  practical  sense  organic  " nations"  or 
"tribes,"  within  the  meaning  of  Iroquois  regimenta- 
tion. At  first  some  were  merely  wandering  emigrant 
bands  from  a  number  of  well-known  tribes — some 
historically  known,  others  not.  Originally,  these 
Seven  " nations"  or  bands  were  composed  of  the 
Skighquan  (i.e.,  the  Nipissing  band),  the  Estjage 
(i.e.,  the  Saulteur  or  Chippewa  band),  the  Assisagh 


92  MOHAWK    RITUAL 

(i.e.,  the  Mississauga  band),  the  Karhadaga  (un- 
identified), the  Adgenauwe  (unidentified),  the  Karri- 
haet  (unidentified),  and  the  Adirondax  (i.e.,  the 
Algonquin,  although  this  appears  to  be  a  very 
modern  application  of  this  name).  Thus  it  is  seen 
that  the  four  known  bands  are  offshoots  from  well- 
known  tribes  which  are  historically  known  as  forming 
distinct  communities  with  independent  political 
organizations;  all  the  known  bands  are  of  the 
Algonquian  stock. 

Conversely,  the  Caughnawaga  of  the  manuscript 
were  originally  composed  of  exiles,  refugees,  and  dis- 
loyal emigrants  from  the  Five  Confederated  Tribes 
of  the  Iroquois  in  what  is  now  New  York  state. 

These  brief  comments  may  help  to  explain  some 
of  the  peculiarities  of  the  manuscript.  An  odd  inno- 
vation appears  in  the  use  of  the  term  "  wampum- 
belt"  at  the  end  of  the  2d  and  the  3d  paragraphs  of 
Part  One,  and  at  the  end  of  the  2d  paragraph  of  Part 
Two.  This  change  is  not  at  all  traditional  and 
betrays  a  lack  of  exact  knowledge  of  the  ritual 
which  the  recorder  was  seeking  to  write  out.  The 
reference  to  the  use  of  wampum  at  the  close  of  the 
paragraphs  shows  that  the  manuscript  was  intended 
to  record  the  ritual  which  the  present  writer  has 
called  the  Requickening  Address  of  the  Council  of 
Condolence  and  Installation  of  the  League.  No 
other  ritual  employs  wampum  in  any  form.  In 
historical  times  the  vocable  "word"  is  employed  to 
represent  each  unit  paragraph  of  this  address  and  is 


OF    CONDOLENCE  93 

tokened  by  one  or  more  strings  of  wampum,  the 
color  of  the  wampum  beads  being  proportioned  in 
accordance  with  the  content  and  purpose  of  the  said 
paragraph.  The  authentic  traditional  account  of 
the  founding  of  the  League  shows  that  in  the  days  of 
Deganawida  and  Hiawatha  the  quills  of  feathers 
and  the  twigs  of  the  elderberry  bushes,  cut  to  suit- 
able lengths  and  strung,  were  employed  as  are 
wampum  strings  in  modern  times. 

There  is  also  a  marked  departure  in  the  term  of 
address  used  between  the  two  sides  in  this  manu- 
script: either  side  addresses  the  other  as  "my 
brother,"  in  the  vernacular,  "we  two  are  brothers." 
But  this  form  of  address  discards  the  authentic 
dualism,  "  Father-  Mother,"  by  disregarding  the 
ritualistic  relationship  subsisting  between  the  two 
sides.  The  authentic  terms  with  their  synonyms 
express  the  Fatherhood  and  the  Motherhood  rela- 
tionship subsisting  between  the  two  sides.  The 
speakers  of  the  Mother  Side  address  the  Father  Side 
by  the  term  akaton'ni1,  or  by  its  distributive  form 
akatonni"son'i  which  signifies  "  my  father's  kinsmen," 
i.e.,  the  group  of  men  and  women  who  are  sym- 
bolically males.  Conversely,  the  speakers  of  the 
Father  Side  address  the  Mother  Side  by  the  term 
gonyennetal'kwen\  which  means  "my  weanling," 
because  symbolically  the  Mother  Side  is  the  side  of 
the  children. 

The  phrase  "The  Forepart  of  the  Ceremony"  is 
the  name  applied  to  stated  preliminary  rites  which 


94  MOHAWK    RITUAL 

must  be  performed  at  the  edge  of  the  forest,  con- 
sisting of  a  Chant  of  Welcome  by  the  mourning  side 
and  the  first  three  unit  paragraphs  of  the  Requicken- 
ing  Address  spoken  to  the  mourning  side  by  the 
unaffected  side.  But  of  these,  outside  of  the  phrase 
just  mentioned,  there  is  nothing  in  the  manuscript. 

Another  amusing  innovation  of  the  manuscript  is 
the  naive  statement  that  the  "Gorah,"  or  Indian 
Agent  or  Superintendent,  fully  agrees  with  the 
celebrant  in  the  recital  of  the  ritual;  such  a  change 
could  come  only  where  the  white  man's  officer 
dominated  the  affairs  of  the  natives. 

The  use  of  the  name  Tekarihoken,  which  is  that  of 
the  chief  who  is  first  on  the  list  of  the  original 
Mohawk  League  officials,  has  reference  to  the  pre- 
siding officer  of  the  tribal  council,  but  of  course  not 
"the  head-chief"  of  the  tribe.  So  the  name  is  used 
officially  sometimes  for  the  entire  tribe. 

It  is  learned  that  Tier  Asarekowa  died  March  25, 
1782,  at  the  age  of  sixty-two  years.  This  Peter 
Asarekowa  seems  to  be  the  chieftain  mentioned  in 
the  manuscript. 

J.  N.  B.  Hewitt 


TRANSLATION 

Lachine,  April  9th,  1782. 
We  of  Caughnawaga,  may  we  give  utterance  to 
our  voice,  we,  the  Tekarihoken  [the  Mohawk],  we, 
whose  clans  number  three,  we,  whose  settlements 
number  2,  concerning  what  befell  him  in  person, 
him,  the  Seven  Nations  (of  Canada)  in  number,  in 
that  he  now  died,  he  who  was  a  chief,  he  who  was 
Asharekowa  [=  He,  the  Great  Knife]. 

1.  The  first  thing  is  "The  Forepart  of  the  Cere- 
mony." The  tears,  we  have  borne  them  elsewhere. 
And  also  from  his  open  throat  we  have  dislodged  the 
several  lodgments.  And  also  from  his  outspread 
mat  [his  abiding-place],  we  have  wiped  away  the 
several  blood  spots.  Thoroughly  again  have  we 
readjusted  the  things  (there). 

Indeed,  there  a  wampum  string  (is  required). 
The  Gorah  [i.e.,  the  Superintendent],  Shotsitsyo- 
wanen,  he  and  I  are  unanimous  (in  this). 
None  the  less,  there  are  many  matters. 

2.  The  Second  Matter.  Go  to,  my  brother,  thou, 
the  Seven  Nations  in  number.  Now,  again,  it  is  an 
awful  thing  that  has  befallen  thy  person.  Now, 
thou  hast  lost  that  upon  which  thy  two  eyes  rested 
trustfully,  he  was  a  warrior,  the  establishment  of 
welfare  by  law  was  his  duty.  Now  our  Master 
[our  God]  has  withdrawn  him  again. 

95 


96  MOHAWK    RITUAL 

That,  then,  do  I  remember,  I,  who  am  the  Mo- 
hawk (I,  the  Tekarihoken),  how  that  they,  our 
grandsires  who  were,  had  made  it  an  ordinance; 
did  they  not  say  (that)  wherever  it  might  be  that 
one,  whose  mind  is  left  fresh  and  untouched,  shall 
at  once  readjust  all  the  several  things  again.  Now, 
therefore,  my  brother,  may  I  say  it,  I  have  smoothed 
over  the  rough  earth  whereon,  indeed,  landed  the 
flesh  of  him,  who  was  our  Business,  the  late  Ashare- 
kowa  [Great  Knife],  that  is,  we  as  one  had  him  as 
the  embodiment  of  our  affairs,  so  then  that  we  speak 
words  over  the  corpse,  that  is  it,  he  and  I,  the  Gorah, 
Shotsitsyowanen  [=  He  whose  flower  is  great;  i.e., 
the  Superintendent],  are  unanimous. 

There  (i.e.,  at  this  point),  a  wampum  belt  (is 
required). 

Many,  lo,  are  the  matters  in  number. 

The  Third  Matter  (Rite)  in  Order. 
3.  Thou  and  I  are  brothers  [=  my  brother];  thou, 
the  Seven  Nations  (in  number).  Now,  do  thou 
continue  listening  along  as  I  continue  reciting  the 
words  (of  the  ceremony).  Did  I  not  intend  that 
only  once  would  I  speak  words  on  what  has  befallen 
thy  person  today.  May  I,  therefore,  say,  my 
brother  (lit.,  thou  and  I  are  brothers)  that  I  again 
draw  together  thy  people  at  the  place  where  thou 
art  wont  to  environ  the  fire  (i.e.,  around  the  hearth 
of  the  home,  as  well).  And  also  I  have  again 
rekindled   thy   (Council)    fire  where  all   manner  of 


OF    CONDOLENCE  97 

things  come  to  thee  as  duties.  Go  thou  forward. 
Have  courage,  my  brother.  Thou  hast  the  charge 
of  public  affairs,  as  many  in  number  as  still  remain. 

Do  thou  not  suffer  it,  that  thy  mind  should  be 
borne  hence  (by  grief).  The  only  thing  now  to 
which  thou  must  continue  to  give  attention  is  our 
Law  (and  welfare).  It  is  that  over  which  thou, 
the  Seven  Nations,  art  administrator. 

And  also,  is  it  not  true,  that  they,  our  late  grand- 
sires,  said,  perhaps,  we  should  die  were  it  to  take 
along  with  it,  one's  mind,  no  matter  where  it  may 
be,  among  those  who  have  united  their  affairs, 
will  (it)  slay  with  a  single  blow,  only  thou  [depreca- 
tively] must  continue  thinking  that  He,  the  Master 
[i.e.,  God],  foreordains  what  befalls  our  persons  in 
the  course  of  things. 

There  [at  this  point  in  the  ceremony]  a  wampum 
belt  (is  required). 

Many,  lo,  are  the  matters  in  number. 

4.  It  is  the  Fourth  Matter. 
My  brother  [i.e.,  thou  and  I  are  brothers],  do 
thou  keep  listening  along  to  my  recital  of  the  matter 
of  the  ritual.  Now,  am  I  not  today  saying,  Go 
thou  forward,  do  thou  have  courage.  Thou  hast 
charge  of  public  affairs.  So  then  let  me  say,  my 
brother  [thou  and  I  are  brothers],  do  you  two, 
nephew  and  uncle,  thy  nephew  who  is  a  warrior, 
keep  on  conversing  together  at  all  times;  thou  must 
pay  heed  to  anything  that  is  good  to  which  he  may 
give  utterance. 


98  MOHAWK    RITUAL 

And  also  thou  too,  thou,  warrior,  wait  to  hear 
anything  thy  uncle,  the  royaner  [i.e.,  the  nobleman] 
of  many  things,  to  which  he  may  give  utterance. 

So  then,  just  that  will  come  to  pass,  that  anything 
in  relation  to  our  Law  that  you  two  may  ordain 
shall  be  firmly  established. 

There  [i.e.,  here]  at  this  place  a  string  of  wampum 
(is  required). 

Many,  lo,  are  the  things  (of  the  ceremony)  in 
number. 

I  have  written  it.     John  Deserontyon. 

Canadasege  (At  Newtown). 


Caughnawaga  April  9th,  1782. 

1.  The  Seven  Nations  [lit.,  the  Seven  Lands], 
these  are  their  words  at  the  time  and  place  when 
they  spoke  in  reply. 

My  brother  [lit.  thou  and  I  are  brothers],  thou, 
Mohawk  [i.e.,  thou,  Te'seri'ho'ke11',  for  thou  art  a 
Tekari'ho'ke11'],  three  do  thy  clans  number.  Now, 
here  in  this  place  thy  person  has  landed,  at  the 
place  where  I  have  my  mat  (dwelling-place)  in  place, 
I  who  am  Seven  Nations  (Lands)  in  number.  It  is 
certain  that  nothing  exceeds  what  has  befallen  thy 
person;  it  is  certain,  my  brother,  that  thy  tears 
flow  down  in  two  courses.  Now,  then,  I  have 
removed  the  tears.  And  also  from  the  opening  of 
thy  throat  I  have  dislodged  the  various  things 
wedged  therein.     And  also  where  thy  mat  (dwelling- 


OF    CONDOLENCE  99 

place)  is  outspread,  there  I  have  set  the  various 
things  in  order. 

There  [at  this  point  in  the  ceremony]  the  "  Fore- 
part of  the  Ceremony"  has  its  place.  A  string  of 
wampum  (here). 

Many,  lo,  are  the  things  (of  the  ceremony)  in 
number. 

2.  Go  to,  my  brother  [lit.,  thou  and  I  are  brothers], 
now  do  thou  continue  listening  [lit.,  holding  out  thy 
ear]  to  those  things,  which  thou  didst  do  severally, 
(just  now)  on  thy  side.  Now,  thou  hast  drawn 
together  again  my  ranks;  and  also  thou  hast  re- 
lighted the  fire  where  I  am  wont  to  assemble  my 
ranks  (on  account)  of  the  multifarious  things,  every 
one  of  which  is  a  duty  for  us.  So  let  it  come  to  pass 
(thankfully),  therefore,  let  me  say  it,  my  brother. 

There  [at  this  point]  a  wampum  string  (is  re- 
quired). 

Many,  lo,  are  the  matters  (of  the  ceremony)  in 
number. 

3.  Now,  another  thing,  my  brother  [=  thou  and  I 
are  brothers],  there,  on  thy  side,  thou  didst  do, 
being  that  that  thou  didst  say,  do  thou  and  thy 
dear  nephew,  he  who  is  a  warrior,  keep  conversing 
one  with  the  other  constantly.  So  may  it  (in  turn) 
come  to  pass,  therefore,  may  I  say  it,  my  brother, 
each  of  the  number  of  things  to  which  thou  didst 
give  utterance  in  words.  Keep  thou  thinking,  there- 
fore, my  brother,  that  so  it  will  come  to  pass,  that  is, 
verily  I  am  thankful  (for  it),  that  in  thinking  my 
thoughts  my  mind  is  again  in  daylight. 


100  MOHAWK    RITUAL 

There   [at   this   point]   a  wampum   string    (is   re- 
quired). 

Many,  lo,  are  the  matters  (of  the  ceremony)   in 
number. 
Jn.  Deserontyon. 

[Memorandum  on  the  last  page  of  the  manuscript.} 
It  tells  it  that  a  day  (date)  is  extant  that  the  sun 
will  disappear,  April  12th,  1782.  At  eleven  o'clock 
daytime  it  will  disappear.  Two  o'clock  after  mid- 
day it  will  again  peer  out;  so  that  it  will  be  three 
hours  long  before  it  reappears  again. 
The  end. 


LaChine,  Apr.  9,  1782. 
Caughnawaga,    yakwawenni'neke11'    ne"    Teyak- 
We  Caughnawaga,  let  us  speak  the  We 

Tekari- 

wari'ho'ke11'     'a"sen'      (ni)yofikwa'ta'rake'     te'keni' 
hoken(s)  three        so         we  are  clans  in  two 

many  number 

teyonkwakwen"rare'        ne"       tsi'       na'hoyata'we11' 
two  we  are  located  in  the     wherein      so  it  befell  him 

places 

Tsa'ta'k  Ni'haon'hwen'tsage'  tsi'  o'ne11' 

(the)  so  many  his  lands  are  in      wherein  the 

Seven  number  time 

wa<ren</heye'       ra'sennowa'ne11'       AVhare'ko'wan'- 
he  died  he  a  chief  (is)  Asharekowa 

ken'ha\ 
(who)  was. 

1.  Tyotyeren"ton<      O'hen'to11'      Kari'hwate'/ko11' 
The  first  thing  is  (the)  Front  It-end  of  the  cere- 

mony (matter) 


OF    CONDOLENCE  101 

oka"seri'     e'ren<     wa'kwa'ha'wi'te';     nokho'ni'     tsi' 
tear(s)     elsewhere       we  bore  them;  and  also   where 

te'ronnya'to'ke11'  wa'tyakwa'si'haron'ko';    nokho'ni' 
his  throat  is  open     we  dislodged  obstructions       and  also 

severally ; 

tsi'        ronakta/te'        wa'kwanekwen<tarokewa'nyon', 
where       his  couch  we  wiped  away  blood  spots  many 

stands 

a'kwa'     sayakwateweyenton'nyon' . 
fully         again  we  set  things  aright  in 
succession. 

EW,    E't'ho',    oron<kwa"sa' 

Surely,      there    a  string,  or  strings, 
of  wampum. 

Yakeniwennakwe'ko11'        ne"        Ko'ra.', 
He-I  are  unanimous,  are        the  Super- 

agreed  intendent, 

S'hotsi'tsyo'wane' 
Shotsitsyowanen  (  =  "His 
Flower  is  Great,") 

2.  Tekeni'ha'ton't  ori"wa\  Ni"ho'.  Tyatate"kSD* 
The  Second       it-matter    Go  to.       Thou-I  who 
(is).  brothers  are 

Tsya'ta'(k)      Niyon'hwentysa'ke'      o'ne11'      a're' 
Seven  So  many  lands  (tribes)        now    (again),  or 

in  number  sometimes 

yone'hra'kwa'(t)         tsi'        nisaya'tawen"on' 
it  is  amazing  wherein     so  thy  person  it  has 

befallen  it 

teska'ne'ra'kwe'  rosken'rake'te"ta<kwe'  Kayanere11"- 
two  thy  eyes  rested     he  who  a  warrior  was  It-Law 

(thereon) 

sera'        rotsteristofi'ne'. 

he-it  occupied  himself  in. 


102  MOHAWK    RITUAL 

O'ne11'  tonta'hatiron'to11'  ne"  S<honkwawenni'yo\ 
Now  again  he  has  the     He  who  our  God  (is). 

drawn  back  (him) 

Ne"    ka'ti'    wake'hya'ra/,o11'    ne"    Tekeri'ho'ken' 
That    conse-     I  it  have  recalled      the      I  who  am  a  Mo- 
quently  hawk  (i.e.,  a 

Tekarihoken) 

tsi'        nit'hotiri'wisa'on'ne'  ne"  ofikwa/sotsera'so11"- 
where-    so  they  it  had  the      our  several  grand- 

in     thus  ordained  sires 

ken"ha'     ne"ken'     ne"     ron'nefi'     ka"       ki"       ok' 
who  were     did  not      the      they  have    wher-   it  may    only 
that  said  ever,       be, 

non'we'        ko'nikon'ka"te'         (n)enwa'ton'         (ne") 

the  place         one's  mind  fresh,         will  it  become  (the) 

(that)  untouched,  (is)  (ones) 

ontate'ken"son'  yokonta'tye'  entsyonteweyenton'- 

they  who  are  sev-  right  away,  again  will  one  restore 

erally  brothers  at  once,  things  severally 

one  to  another 

nyo11'. 

O'ne11'    ka'ti'    ki"ron'  wa'tka'ke^'rawen'rye'     tsi' 

At  this  so  then    let  me  I  the  dust  disposed,     where 

time                        say  stirred  about, 

ya'kayen'ta/ne'      raoyeronta'-ke^'ha'      ne" 
there  it  fell,  his  flesh-it  was  the 

alighted 

on^wariVa'-ken"ha'     As'hare'kowan"-ken"ha' 
our  man  of  affairs-who       Asharekowanen-who  was 
was  "  Big  Knife," 

i'kefV     ens'kat'     yeyonkwari"wa'       ne'       ka'ti' 
it  is  one       there  our  business  (is)    the      so  then 

awen<heyonta"ke<  onkwatewenon'ti',  i'kefi'  yakeni- 
the  corpse  on  we  cast  our  words,        it  is     he  and  I 


OF    CONDOLENCE 


103 


wennakwe'ko11'   ne"    Ko'ra/   ne"   S'hotsi'tsyo'wane'. 
are  unanimous      the     Super-    the       Shotsitsyowanen. 
intendent  (  =  uHe  whose 

Flower  is  Great "). 
E't'ho'    kayon'ni'. 
There      a  wampum 
belt. 

E'so',       sa"       niyori"wake'. 
Many    indeed,      so  many  mat- 
lo,  ters  number. 

3,  'A'sen''haton'(t)    ori"wa'. 
The  third  matter, 

item. 

Tyatate"ken'     Tsya'ta'k     Niyon'hwen'tsyake' 
Thou  and  I  who         Seven  So  many  (the)  lands 

are  brothers  (tribes)  number 

o'ne11'        sat'hofitatye'        wakeri'wa'sawa'tye'. 
now     do  thou       continue  (as)  I  continue  reciting 
listening  on  the  matter  (ritual). 

\Yake'ron'-ken<    enVkat     ok'      entkewennineken''ne' 
I  intended-did  I         one         only 
not 


will  I  utter  a  word 


tsi        non  we 
where  the  place 


nisay  a' tawen"on ' . 

there  it  has  befallen 

thy  body. 

Ki"roii'    ka'ti'    tyatate"ken'   o'nen<    tonsakone11"- 

Let  me     so  then      thou  and  I        now        again  I  have 

say  who  are  brothers  drawn  thy 

ranks  together 

rati're'      tsi'     te'satstci'raton"kwa'     niya'teyori'- 
where     thou  dost  customarily       all  the  several 

surround  the  fire        matters  in  number 

wake^son'     we'sateriVayerVhase'     nokhon'ni'     (for 
(that)  has  become  a  duty        and  also 
for  thee 


104  MOHAWK    RITUAL 

nok'       on'ni')       sakontsistayen"ha'se\  Wa"se'; 

and  also  again  I  have  fire  for  thee.  Go  thou; 

kindled  a 

tsya'ko11'    tyatate"ken'     ori"wa'    satsteris'to11'     tsi' 
take  thou    thou  and  I  who     official         thou  dost      where 
courage        are  brothers       business      attend  to  it 

ni'ko11'  yotateii'ro11'. 
so  they     they  remain, 
many 
number 

To"sa'   ok'   ne"   yaka'hawi"te'    ne"   sa  nikofi'ra', 

Do  not   only  the     there  it  bear  it     the        thy  mind, 

away  hence 

ok'      o'ne11'      tsi'      ne"      asatsteriston"hak      ne" 
only       now      where     the    thou  shouldst  continue    the 

your  duties 

onkwayeneren"sera\    i'ken*    i'se'    tsya'takwe'ni'yo' 
our  Law,  it  is      thou     thou  art  master  of 

it,  disposer  of  ic, 

ne"   Tsya'ta'k   Niyon'hwen'tsyake'. 
the         Seven  So  it  many  land(s) 

number. 

Nok"honni'     rofi'nen'     wa"hi'     ne"     onkvva'sot- 
And  also         they  said    of  course,    the    our  grandsires 
you  know,  individually — 

sera"son'ken"ha'        aetewen"heye'        'on"te'      ne" 
who  were  we  would  die  perhaps      the 

yakaha'wi'te'  ne"  ako"nikon'ra\  ka"  ki"  ok' 
hence  away  it  the  one's  mind,  wher-  it  may  just 
would  bear  it  ever       be 

nofi'we1    ten'tka  hra'kwa'te'    tsi'    niyonteri'wakha"- 
the  place       thence  it  it  strike     where       there  they  their 
off  its  perch  affairs  have  united 

severally 


OF    CONDOLENCE 


105 


ho11' 


ne" 

ok'     nis^a* 

ne"    seVhek 

Rawenni'yo' 

the 

only     thou, 

the    thou  must 

He-the  Master 

by  favor 

think  con- 
tinuously 

(i.e.,  God) 

t'haweron'ha'tye'se\     tsi' 
thence  he  designs,       where 
purposes,  it,  in 

E'tW    Kayofi'ni'. 
There       It-belt  of 
wampum. 

E'so'    sa."    niyori"wake*. 
Many    lo,     somany^-mat- 
ter(s)  number 

4.  Kayeri"haton'(t)    ori"wa\ 
It,  the  fourth         it- matter 


niyonkwaya'tawen"se' 


so  it  our  bodies  befalls 
customarily. 


Tyatate"ken' 

Thou  and  I  are 

brothers 


o  ne11 
now 


sat'honta'tye' 

do  thou  keep 

listening  along 


sawa/tye'. 


tsya'ke11 


do  thou 

have 
courage 

tyatate"ken' 

thou  and  I  who 

are  brothers 


O'ne11' 

At  this 

time 

ori"wa' 

^-business, 

matter 


nofi'wa'-ke11' 

the  today-is 

it  not 

satsteris'to11', 

thou  hast 

charge  of  it, 


teseni"t'harak     ne" 
do  ye  two  keep       the 
on  conversing 
together 

ro'sken'rake"te' ;      e^'sat'lion'tate' 
he,  the  warrior ;      do  thou  give  ear  to  it 

tent<hawenninekeI1'ne'    ne" 
thence  he  will  give  the 

utterance  to  it 


wakeriVa/- 

I  am  reciting 

the  matter 

along. 

ka'ton\     wa"se' 
I  am        do  thou 
saying,  go 

ki'W       ka'ti' 
let  me  so 

say  it  then 

tsyon'waten"a' 
thy  dear  nephew 


ne"     ot'he'non' 
the         anything 

enkari<wiyo"hake'. 
it  will  be  good. 


106 


MOHAWK    RITUAL 


Nok'hofi'ni' 
And  also 


ni'se'     sa'sken'rake"te' 
thou         thou  who  art  a 
warrior 


ne"     ot'he'no11'     te^t'hawenni'neke^ne' 
the        anything  thence  he  will  give 

utterance  to  it 


sat'hofi'dek 

do  thou  give 

ear  always 

to  it 

yano"sen< 

thy  uncle, 

mother's 

brother 


roya  ne  rson  . 
he  who  is  the  ruler 
of  many  things. 

Ok'    ka'ti'     nenya'wen,ne' 
Only      so         so  it  shall  come 
then  to  pass 

ot'he'no11    enseniri'wis"a,    ne' 
anything        ye  two  decide      the 
upon 

E'tW,    Oron'kwa"sa' 
There,         (it)  string  of 
wampum 

E'so'     sa"     niyori"wake'. 
Many     lo,     somany^-item(s) 
number. 

Wak'nya'to11',  John  De'serofi'tyon' 
I  it  have  written, 

Canadasege. 

At  Newtown. 


enyoriVa'nl'ron,    ne" 
it  shall  become  a      the 
firm  thing 

onkwayane'ren"sera' 
our  law 


Caughnawaga  April  9,  1782. 

1.  Tsya'da'k      Niyon<hwentsya/ke<      raotiwen'na' 
Seven        So  many  ^7-lands  number      their  word 

tsi'      o'nen<  tonta'honta'ti': 
where-    at  they  make 

in        the  reply: 

time 


OF    CONDOLENCE 


107 


Tyatate"ken'       Te'seri'ho'ke11'       'A"sen'       (ni1)- 
Thou  and  I  are        Thou,  Mohawk  three  so 

brothers  many 

sa'tara'ke'    o'ne11'    ken't'ho*    non'we'    nisaya'ta'ti'- 

thy  clans       at  this     this  place    the  where   there  thy  body 

number         time  has  arrived 

rhe"on'    tsi'     nofi'we'     niwakenakta/te',     Tsya'ta'k 
where       the  there  my  mat  is  Seven 

place  spread  out, 

Niwakon'hwefitsya'ke'    kanekhe're'    iya"    teyoken'- 
So  many  my  lands  it  is  not  not         it  lacks 

number  doubted  (anything) 

ro11'     tsi'     nisayatawen"on<     {text:      nisaya'tawens) 
where-     so  thy  body  has  so  it  ails  thy 

in  suffered 

kanekhe're'      tyatate"ken' 
it  is  not  thou  and  I  are 

doubted  brothers 

o'nen<     ka'ti'     e'ren<     wa'kha'wi'te' 
now      so  then      else-     I  carried  (them)     the      (it)  tear  (s) 
where 

nokhon'm'    tsi'    tesanya'to'ke11'    wa^kst'liaron/kcy 
and  also      where        thy  throat  I  removed  lodged 

opening  (is)  things 

nokhon'ni'  tsi'  tisanakta'te'  wa,kateweyenton'nyon\ 
and  also    where    thy  mat  is  I  sat  things  to  rights 

spread  severally. 

E'tW  O'hefi'to11'   Kari'wate"ko11'  oron"kwa"sa'. 
There  Front         i>  ceremony,  end       it-string  of 

of,  (i.e. ,  the  first  part     wampum, 
of  the  ceremony) , 

E'so'    sa",    niyori"wake'. 
Many     lo,       so  many  items 
number. 


body 

te'saka'seren,tori'nyon, 

thy  tears  flow  in  two 

courses 

ne"     oka"seri' 


108 


MOHAWK    RITUAL 


2.  Ni"ho', 
Goto, 

ni'ke11'      tsi' 

so        where- 
(they)         in 


tyatate"ken'    o'ne11' 
thou  and  I  are    at  this 
brothers  time 

nonta/syeran'nyon, 

thence  thou  didst  do 

them  severally 


sat'hon'tek  ne" 
do  thou  con-  the 
tinue  to  listen 

o'nfcnl 
now 


tonsaskenen'rati're'  nokhon'ni'  saskwateka"ten'     tsi' 
thence  thou  disdt  and  also  thou  hast         where 

draw  together  rekindled  it 

my  people 

nofi'we'    na,tekenen'ronnya,'t'ha'    niya'te- 

the  place      there  I  use  it  to  assemble     every  one 

my  ranks 

teyori'wake"sori,  onkwateriVayen^ha'se';  niya'we11' 
^-matter(s)  num-      they  have  been  left  to  us        let  there 
ber  severally  as  obligations;  be  thanks 

ka'ti',    H"ron',    tyatate"ken\       E't'ho1    EW    sa" 
so  then     let  me      thou  and  I  who        There     Many,    lo, 
say  are  brothers. 

niyori"wake'. 
so  many  it-mat- 
ter(s)  number. 

Kayon'ni*. 
It-Belt  of  wampum. 

3.  O'ne11'    o'ya'    tyatate"ken'     tsi'    nonta"syere' 
Now     it  other      thou  and  I     where-      so  thence 
(thing)      are  brothers         in         didst  thou 

doit 

ni'ke11'      ne"      wa'si'ron'      te'seni'Vharak      ne" 
so  is  (it)     the        thou  didst     do  ye  two  continue     the 
say  to  converse  together 

tsonwaten"a'     ro'sken'ra-ke"te'.      Niya'we11'    ka'ti', 
thy  dear  he,  the  warrior.  Let  there  so 

nephew  be  thanks        then, 


OF    CONDOLENCE 


109 


ki   ron  , 

let  me 

sav 


nineke 


rXn'/ 


tyatate"ken'  tsi' 

thou  and  I  are  where- 

brothers  in 

ne\     Se"rhek  ka'ti' 

Do  thou  so  then 

keep 
thinking 


ni'korV 

so  they 

many 

number 


ta  sewen- 

thence  thou 

didst  utter 

words. 


tyatate,/ken' 

thou  and  I  are 

brothers 


it  is 


verily 


so  it  shall  come 
to  pass 

son/ton'     tsi'     kenno^torVnyo11'. 
again  it    where     I  am  thinking  my 

has  thoughts, 

become 

EVho'    oron'kwa"sa\ 
There        it-string  of 
wampum. 

E'so'    sa"    niyorr'wake'. 

Many,    lo,     so  many  it  mat- 

ter(s)  number. 

Jn  Te'seron'tyorV. 


let  there  be 
thanks 


e'tW 

thus 
(there) 

wefi'de' 
it-day- 
time 


[Memorandum  on  last  page  of  manuscript.] 
Ne"     wat'hro'ri'     tsi'     we'hni"seraye11'     en\vate- 
The  it  tells        where       there  is  a  day  will  ti- 

extant  sun 

April    12,     1782.     11     enkahwista'ek 
"  "      it  will  strike  bell 

2    tenkahwis'taek 
will  it  strike 


ra'kwa"ton' 
disappear 

or'hon'ke'ne 
daylight-in 


enwa"ton' 

will  it 
disappear 

enyoto<hets,ton'     nen'tye' 
it  will  pass  it  midday 


the  bell 

entsyoke"to'te' 

will  it  again 

appear. 


3    ka'ti' 
11      so 

then 


110           MOHAWK    RITUAL 

nenkahwis'ta'ek 

so  many  it  bell 
will  strike  (hours) 

tsi'     nenVe' 
where    there  it 
will  be 
going 

(Yo'to'kt). 
It  ends. 

yentsyoke"to'te'. 

there  will  it  again 

appear. 

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